The Southern-New Orleans women’s basketball team scored the first 10 points of the fourth quarter to take control against visiting Dillard on Monday night.
The Knights made sure all their hard work paid off in the end with a defensive stop, preserving a 49-48 Gulf Coast Athletic Conference victory.
“We came up with a big stop, and that keeps us alive in this race,” SUNO coach Roshaun Ambrose said. “Talladega pretty much has first place. We have to get second place.”
Guard Micah Brooks had 16 points — going 4-of-7 on 3-point attempts – with seven assists and seven rebounds as the Knights got their second win this season against the Bleu Devils. Guard Rayvin Miller had 12 points and eight rebounds.
The victory ended a three-game losing streak for SUNO (9-10, 4-4), which is tied for second with Philander Smith (5-5), Dillard (4-4) and Xavier (4-4). SUNO will play at Talladega (8-0 GCAC) on Saturday and at Xavier (4-4) on Feb. 15.
The loss for Dillard (9-12 overall) came after an emotional victory Saturday, the program’s first at rival Xavier since 1991.
Dillard had the ball with 16.9 seconds left after SUNO forward Londyn Thomas missed two free throws with 18.1 showing.
“We ran a play for (guard) Shantrall Lumar to drive to the basket or get fouled, but (the Knights) closed it off, and she couldn’t get her shot off,” Dillard coach Norbert Rome said.
Lumar spun back toward the free-throw line, then went into the lane, where she missed a turnaround jump shot as time expired.
SUNO went on a 10-0 run from the start of the fourth quarter to the 6:35 mark in taking a 42-36 lead. The Knights led by as much as 46-38 with five minutes left.
“We started attacking the gaps in their zone,” Ambrose said. “They were playing a 2-3, and we were settling for jump shots. (Guards) Rayvin Miller and Micah Brooks did a good job getting into the gaps.”
Guard Alyssa Washington sank a 3-pointer from the right wing that brought Dillard within 46-41. With SUNO leading 49-45 and 19.4 seconds left, Dillard guard Benita Lee was fouled by Miller while shooting a 3-pointer; Lee made all three free throws.
Looking to get a final shot at victory, the Devils then fouled Thomas intentionally in the backcourt as soon as the ball was inbounded.
Guard Shaelynn Moore led Dillard with 11 points, and forward Alena Evans had eight points and 14 rebounds.
Dillard men bounce back
In the men’s game, Dillard rebounded from its loss at Xavier on Saturday, winning 77-52 as center Ramon Johnson had 18 points and 12 rebounds.
Johnson, a sophomore, filled in for leading scorer Demetic Austin, who had two technical fouls against Xavier, forcing him to miss Monday’s game.
The win enable the Blue Devils (15-8, 6-2) to stay in second place on the heels of GCAC leader Talladega (7-1).
Dillard, which plays at Edward Waters (2-5) on Saturday, swept the season series from SUNO (6-13, 1-7), which lost its fifth consecutive game and will play at Talladega on Saturday.
The Blue Devils held the Knights to 30.5 percent shooting, including 19.4 percent (6-of-31) in taking a 36-18 lead at halftime.
Dillard outrebounded SUNO 52-29, including 27-15 in the first half.